Automatically Delete Development Logs in Ruby on Rails

I usually don’t need development logs persisted after I’m done developing a Rails app. Sometimes the development.log file can balloon up to gigabytes if I forget to delete it. I found a way to delete this file after a Ruby on Rails application exits in development mode.

In config/environments/development.rb, add the following:

# delete local dev logs after exiting
at_exit do
  development_logfile = Rails.application.config.paths['log'].first

  # if development.log exists, delete it.
  if File.exists?(development_logfile)
    Rails.logger.debug 'Deleting development.log...'

This code will delete development.log after the Rails process exits.

For example, I can start up a Rails app locally and see that a development.log file is created under log/:

$ rails s
=> Booting Puma
=> Rails application starting in development
=> Run `bin/rails server --help` for more startup options
Puma starting in single mode...
* Puma version: 6.0.0 (ruby 3.1.2-p20) ("Sunflower")
*  Min threads: 5
*  Max threads: 5
*  Environment: development
*          PID: 18528
* Listening on
* Listening on http://[::1]:3000
Use Ctrl-C to stop

And I can see the development.log file under log/:

$ ls -1 log/
development.log # here's the development log file

Now when I exit the rails process, I should see a message saying “Deleting development.log…” and I should also see the development.log file disappear:

^C- Gracefully stopping, waiting for requests to finish
=== puma shutdown: 2023-05-21 13:58:25 -0700 ===
- Goodbye!
Deleting development.log...

The custom message is there. Now to verify that there is no development.log file:

$ ls -1 log/

The development.log file is now gone!